Goodhart’s Law – When confusing KPIs with goals, leads to failure

Goodhart’s Law – When confusing KPIs with goals, leads to failure

Have you ever sat through an office meeting on project metrics, KPIs and progress tracking… and had a moment where you asked yourself – ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I have. Many many times. As someone on the data side of the game in most of these meetings, I usually marvel at the appetite of attendees, for more data, measures, graphs, metrics, and beautiful infographics – without actually knowing how they contribute to the success of anything. It’s funny how many intelligent, agile and discerning minds go blunt at the sight of a well-made pie-chart. Except that it isn’t really funny because tracking such measures may actually contribute to failure. Why? Often, during those bleary-eyed and droning meetings – those measures become targets. Maybe that’s how we got the pervasive culture of employees finishing hours instead of finishing work.

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